Don’t Stop Believin’

mike - wilbraham, Massachusetts
Entered on May 19, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I believe…

Death is scary. I don’t enjoy thinking about death, or dying. However, in my life so far I have experienced death in a painful way. During the course of my high school career two relatives have died, and a woman who I called “mom.” My religion preaches that you will live for eternity after death. Heaven. I choose to believe in this. I am a confirmed Christian Catholic. I have learned, however, life has a certain way to downsize your heart, and religion isn’t always there right away to pick it back up.

When my Grandmother and her sister died, I learned a valuable lesson from my relatives. At first, I thought the best thing to do was curse God; ask questions why he would do something so hurtful to my family. This was not the case however; my relatives went back to God and prayed for our family. My mother chose to go to church more. Instead of distancing herself from us in grief, she became a better mother and spent more time with me and the rest of my family. So when a person died that I loved more than who my family loved, I did not have my family to share grief with.

My good friend’s mom died unexpectedly. I did not know how to feel when I first heard, it was as if it was not true. My religion says people live forever in Heaven when they die. The more time I spent with this family, I began to share their emptiness.

Friedrich Nietzsche said religion works well in practice; unfortunately, it doesn’t work well in theory. He thought that postmodernism discredited Christianity. This thought crossed my mind, mainly because—well—who believes in a talking snake? I believe everything the Bible has to offer, but some things are just a little far fetched. I do not believe in a snake who talks, but I do believe Jesus died for me. When science can so easily describe evolution, who has time to believe in Adam and Eve? So when this tragedy was bestowed upon me, like I said, I did not know what to do. I was angry, which also tested my religion. I wondered deeply why God would give us anger, depression, sadness, hostility, and tell us it is a sin to feel this way. I tried hard to consider existentialism, but I found too much comfort in the thought of destiny. That may sound lame, but I cannot help to think that what I am doing on Earth is completely aimless.

What I believe is what I believe in. I think no matter what, I am going to believe in something, because at the end of the day it is nice to know I have something bigger than me dictating what I am doing. This lets me know I am not alone. I feel relaxed at the thought of being with the people again that I miss so dearly today, this I believe.